Tuesday 27 March 2012

New Brigade Releases for Salute

Lucky so-and-sos attending SALUTE will be able to pick up Brigade's new releases, which include some great looking sea and land fortresses for Land Ironclads.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Vampire Killing Kit

I've posted things like this before, being impressive fan made movie prop type items. This is not such a thing - in fact it resides in a Museum!  The Mercer Museum in Doylestown Pennsylvania hosts this intriguing item, which has the following entry in the catalogue:

Object TitleVampire Killing Kit
Accession Number89.06.001.01-.11
Object DescriptionLeather covered wooden case, hinged and divided into a top and bottom section. Sections are divided into compartments and lined with felt. Top section has latching leather cover enclosing contents. Case includes (top section): flowers of garlic, two vials of 'serum', glass syringe, silver needle, magnifying glass. Bottom section of case includes: powder flask, bullet mold, crucifix/wooden stake, pistol, two silver bullets with crosses cut into them, and two lead balls. A paper label describing kit and contents is affixed to inside of leather cover enclosing top section.
Materialswood; leather; Steel; Brass; ivory; glass; silver; Iron; mother-of-pearl; felt
Label/Mark/InscriptionVampire Killing Kit/This box contains the items considered necessary, for the protection of persons who/travel into little known countries of Eastern Europe, where the populace are/plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as VAMPIRES. Professor Ernst Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this kit, carefully studies his book/in order, should evil manifestations become apparent, he is equipped to deal with them/efficiently. Professor Blomberg wishes to announce his grateful thanks to that well-known/gunmaker of Liege, Nicholas Plomdeur whose help in the compiling of the special items, the silver bullets etc. has been most efficient. (LABEL)
History of UseThe kit was examined by Dr. Jeffrey A. Baylor while he was working on his PhD disertation on Vampirism in Literature (Lehigh University). Dr. Baylor said that both the contents of the case and the label include elements of vampiric lore that existed at many different times in the 19th and 20th centuries, and he considered it unlikely that these elements would have been combined this way in the mid-19th century. Based on a literary analysis, he did not believe the kit was authentic
MeasurementsHeight: 3.500 in
Width: 11.000 in
Depth: 7.000 in

This item has also been incorporated into the RPG Space 1889 - the online article here is what tipped me to it in the first place.


Tuesday 20 March 2012

An American "Flashman"?

We shall see!

The Secret Memoirs
of General James Wilkinson

In the humorous, iconoclastic tradition of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman novels, Gore Vidal's Burr, and Thomas Berger's Little Big Man, meet real-life scoundrel James Wilkinson as he lies, schemes, backstabs, and seduces his way through our nation's early history. 
In Scoundrel! historian and novelist Keith Thompson mixes fact and fiction with intense characterization and riveting story.  Scoundrel! is a book for anyone who loves adventure, and will hold special appeal for aficionados of historical fiction, military fiction, and U.S. history.
This first book, subtitled The True Spirit of '76, recounts Wilkinson's misadventures during the momentous year of 1776, starting at the siege of Boston, following him through Benedict Arnold's disastrous Canadian invasion, and ending with Washington's attack on Trenton.  Along the way he battles savage Indians, seduces beautiful women, fawns over egomaniacal generals, falls in with British spies, and betrays everyone who strays into his path.
In short, Scoundrel! is "History with Humor", and after experiencing Wilkinson's irreverent spin, the reader will never view the Revolution or the Founding Fathers the same way again.


Wednesday 14 March 2012

20mm Nostalgic Revival: Donald Featherstone

20mm Nostalgic Revival: Donald Featherstone: The Father of UK Wargaming is 94 years young around this time, many congrats to him, his books got me started way back in the mists of t...



In peace there’s nothing so becomes a wargamer

as modest stillness and humility;

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,

then imitate the action of the tiger;

Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

disguise fair nature with hard favour’d rage.

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect,

let it pry through the portage of the head

like a brass cannon; let the brow o’whelm it

as fearfully as does a galled rock.

Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide;

hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit

to his full height. On, on, you noble wargamer

whose blood is that of fathers who wrote the rules !

Fathers who, like so many Alexanders,

have at these Conventions from morn ‘till even fought,

and pocketed their dice for lack of argument.

Dishonour not your mothers, for did they not sit

whilst those whom you call fathers painted their armies ?

Feel superior to players with troops in other scales,

and teach them how to wargame. And you, good players,

whose hands were made for wargaming, show us here

the mettle of your army; let us swear

that they are worthy of your painting, which I doubt not;

For there are none of them so mean and base

that hath not noble lustre in your eyes.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,

straining upon the start. The game’s afoot !

Rattle your dice ! And upon the charge

cry ‘God for Scruby! Featherstone! and HG Wells!’

Sunday 11 March 2012

Space 1889 Audio Dramas

I'm doing a lot of driving during the week at the moment, and have rediscovered these stories set in the Space 1889 universe by Noise Monster Productions.

The first 3 stories are a series set on Mars: Red Devils, The Steppes of Thoth, and The Siege of Alclyo.
The fourth story The Lunar Inheritance is a stand alone story.

I quite enjoyed all of them, particularly the wonderfully stereotyped characters.  If you haven't heard them before, they are 70 or so minutes well spent, even if just to get a few different ideas.

The CDs can be elusive to locate, but seem to still be available from the US here:

Saturday 10 March 2012

JC of Mars

The girls went out to the Taylor Swift concert tonight, so naturally the boys sneaked out to see John Carter of Mars after they left.  Its had a bunch of mixed reviews, but our opinion? Epic!  A great adventure movie with amazing effects.  It had some slow spots, but these were necessary for the plot and I guess they just seemed slower after all the action bits.

Seriously, ,the Green and White Martians and the associated special effects are fantastic (and should be for 250 million dollars!)  If you are looking for a good, fun adventure yard this is a great ride.  The Lad and I are itching to play some "Redcoats on Mars" style games now!

PS Its pretty WoW in 3D!

Thursday 8 March 2012

Saturday 3 March 2012


Some fun "relics" and bits and bobs here, including the possessions of Professor Aronnax!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!